The embattled Kgosikgolo Kgafela II of Mochudi has called for a change of what he labelled a system of ‘Tsotsi’ ‘(thug) government’ and a review of the constitution. Speaking at the International Museums Day celebrations at Phuthadikobo Museum on Wednesday, the chief who is not only engaged in an ongoing court battle with government about the jurisdiction of his powers, but is also seeking to institute legal proceeding against the government to set aside the constitution, said both the present constitution and the government were products of a “Tsotsi culture” that has been misleading Batswana since independence.
“We have a ‘Tsotsi’ constitution and a ‘Tsotsi’ Government masquerading as democratic institutions. We have to do away with both for the sake of our nation. As Batswana you need to be ruled by your Dikgosi. We have to go back to our original laws and norms,” he said
Lamenting what he termed the nation’s loss of ancestral values, Kgafela said that such behaviour would eventually lead the nation into oblivion.
“Our lives as tribes did not start in 1966 when our country gained independence. Bakgatla and other tribes were there before 1966 and were guided by their traditions. What has happened to our values and aspirations in the last 45 years should be a lesson for us all. We are now following a culture that is neither English, French nor German. Those people respect their cultures. What we are following now is a “Tsotsi ‘ culture designed to keep you in servitude. Such a culture is against the Bible which teaches us to follow our ancestors’ ways,”Kgafela said to the applause of his audience.
Turning to the school children who attended the event and passing a remark about the effects of the ongoing public service strike on them, he said: “You are not at school and some of your parents have lost their jobs because of this “Tsotsi” culture. Your future lies in recognising the ways of your ancestors”
Encouraging the people to visit the museum as often as possible in order to learn the Bakgatla history and traditions, he said: “This museum used to be a school and stands on sacred ground. You must come here and learn. I am willing to teach you too. You must however respect this place because it is home to Badimo. You must not come here to have sex or drink beer. I say this because we often find used condoms here”.
The chief then went on to note that as a Kgosikgolo he is the link between his tribe and their Badimo(ancestral spirits).
“It is my duty to tell you the true message from our ancestors. Our salvation lies in following their guidance and our culture. That is the truth. I can only tell you what is true because my duty as Kgosikgolo does not allow me to lie. You will disappear if you don’t listen to me. You won’t be the first tribe to disappear.”, said Kgafela who then went on to explain that culture is much more than eating melons, dancing Borankana or traditional artefacts.
“Culture is a way of life with values and norms that need to be taken seriously. It is my duty to tell you this. Those who don’t heed my words will live to regret it. Even God will reject them. He has no time for stupid people. Read Proverbs and Psalms and then and you will realise that God has no use for people who runaway from their ancestors’ ways,”he said
In another development Kgafela announced that he had given permission to civil servants on strike permission to congregate at his kgotla next weekend and state their case to his subjects.